Maui Happy Hours Visits The Pour House Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Kapalua, Maui, HI
by Russell Snyder and Kayla DeLong
One of the many wonderful things about being the Maui Happy Hours guy is that you get invited to try happy hour at places that are outside of your normal range. As a Kihei resident, The Pour House Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar in Kapalua was completely off my radar. Thankfully, my good friend S.K. Laverty turned me on to this gem, as she now works there as a bartender. Fellow Maui Happy Hours team member Kayla DeLong and I made the beautiful drive from Kihei to Kapalua to check it out this past week.
Stunning Location on a World-Class Golf Course
The Pour House is located at the Kapalua Golf Resort, a stunning property that hosts the PGA’s annual Tournament of Champions. The Tournament of Champions opens the PGA calendar year and features PGA golfers who won a tournament during the previous year. The winners’ list of the tournament reads like a golf hall-of-fame roster, featuring names like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. Suffice to say that virtually every serious professional golfer has played golf in Kapalua at one time or another. Clearly, this is a great spot to have a restaurant, and the views from The Pour House itself are incredible.
Bringing the Taste of Italy to West Maui
Owners Morris and Lara Levy set out to create a fine dining Italian restaurant in Kapalua with an excellent wine selection, fun atmosphere, and high level of service. I can attest that they have completely checked off all of these boxes. Morris, a Food Scientist, has created multiple food items that can be found at popular retailers like Trader Joe’s and has traveled Europe extensively. He spent a lot of time in Italy, where he discovered unique, local products and made connections that have allowed him to bring the authentic taste of Italy directly to The Pour House.
Morris recounted a tale to me of an olive farmer he met in Italy who grows the olives and manufactures small batches of “the world’s best olive oil” right there on the farm. When Morris and Lara opened The Pour House, Morris contacted his old friend from Italy and asked about ordering 35 cases of the man’s olive oil, because he wanted the best. “Five cases is all I have for you,” said the Italian olive farmer. Of course, Morris quickly snagged the five cases that were available. This is just one example of the many products that the Levys have personally vetted and imported from Italy for the customers of The Pour House.
Amazing cocktails start with amazing ingredients. The Pour House sources fresh, local ingredients whenever possible throughout the restaurant, for food and cocktails alike. For example, several of their cocktails feature a house-made hibiscus simple syrup, made from fresh hibiscus flowers purchased from the nearby Honokawai Farmers Market.
Kayla and I particularly enjoyed a cocktail that SK recommended called The Botanist. It is a refreshing cucumber vodka treat which features the aforementioned fresh hibiscus syrup as well as fresh lemon juice, mint leaves, rosemary, cucumber slices, and soda. The combination of premium ingredients and SK’s skilled mixologist’s hands left us nearly breathless.
Since we were already drinking vodka, next we went with the Sofia. It is made with Maui’s own Ocean organic vodka, St. Germaine, elderflower tonic, sours, and fresh, crisp cucumber. Of course, we couldn’t leave without having a little prosecco, so we had to try the beautiful Valentina, pictured below. It is so simple, containing only vodka, prosecco, fresh lemon, and strawberries making it crisp, delicious and refreshing.
They also offer non-alcoholic farm-to-glass lemonades including the Strawberry Basil, Lilikoi Mint, and Ginger Rosemary. Since The Pour House team values environmental conservation and the reduction of plastic pollution on our beautiful island, SK said they will soon be offering reusable metal straws for purchase and will be phasing out disposable plastic ones. Overall, cocktails at The Pour House rival any that we have had on Maui, and we’ve had a lot.
Beer and Wine
Import and craft beer enthusiasts will be pleased to know that The Pour House offers multiple local beers from Maui Brewing Company including Big Swell IPA and Bikini Blonde, as well as various Italian beers that can be hard to find elsewhere such as Peroni and Birra Moretti.
When it comes to wine, the owners and staff of The Pour House have a level of knowledge that greatly exceeds my own, and I fear that whatever words I tell you here will grossly understate their quality, selection, and value. Their state-of-the-art, temperature-controlled wine room contains a plethora of award-winning wines representing the best of Italy, the United States, and the world. Oenophiles and wine lovers, I encourage you to view The Pour House wine list and engage Morris or SK in a conversation about the wines available here.
Food at The Pour House
The Pour House food menu features various items and ingredients that can be found nowhere else on Maui and are difficult to find anywhere outside of Italy. Their imported products, ranging from the San Marzano tomatoes, Burrata and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses, the “only five cases available” olive oil, imported Italian chocolates, and more are truly impressive.
Kayla and I started with the Hummus of the Day, which changes daily based on the fresh, local ingredients that are available to The Pour House culinary team. A group adjacent to us ordered the charcuterie and cheese plate, which we got to see as it went out, and it looked magnificent. We then moved on to one of the specials of the week, the Black Truffle Burrata Bruschetta, which melts in your mouth and could easily be your main course due to its richness and overall tastiness.
For an entree, we elected the Spaghetti with Clams – fresh pasta, baby clams, white wine, garlic, olive oil, finished with chopped fresh parsley, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and served with fresh lemon. Our pasta was perfectly cooked, the sauce was divine, and the clams were both well-prepared and plentiful. I enjoyed the fact that the menu points out which items are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and the best sellers.
Live Music & Events
Dining at The Pour House is an event in and of itself. The atmosphere is perfect for celebrating a special occasion such as a wedding, anniversary, birthday. Or if you wanted to just go there and relax after work it is the perfect environment for that, too. They offer fun weekly events such as live music on the covered lanai several nights a week and live team trivia on Wednesday nights from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm. We were lucky enough to hear the smooth sounds and rocking tunes of Mr. Steve Sargenti while we were there and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Happy Hour at The Pour House
Happy Hour at The Pour House takes place from 5pm-6pm daily at the bar and on the lanai. It features a variety of quality pupus, discounted beers, wine, and bubbly. It’s nice that The Pour House offers happy hour every day, and doesn’t exclude the weekends as many Maui restaurants do. For the complete happy hour menu at The Pour House, visit that link or the one at the end of this post.
We just wanted to say mahalo to Morris, Lara, SK, and the entire Pour House team for a wonderful time in Kapalua. Thank you for hosting us, and we’ll be sure to return very soon. Cheers!
The Pour House Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
700 Office Rd
Kapalua, HI 96761
Want to get in touch? Contact the Maui Happy Hours team.
About the Authors:
Russell Snyder is a writer, ocean enthusiast, and full-time Maui resident who enjoys sampling the island’s best happy hours and sharing his findings with the masses. When not writing about Maui bars and restaurants, you can find him surfing or walking the beach with his dog, Leila. Follow Russell on Instagram @russellscottsnyder.
Kayla DeLong is an avid hiker, rainbow chaser and whale watcher. She claims she is not a writer but has a lot of things to say.